Mushfik is a young man growing up in Turkey, first in Sarikum, a small coastal village, and later in urban Istanbul. He comes of age in an atmosphere of sublimated, disoriented eroticism, his impulses restrained by religious and sexual taboos, rigid gender roles, stifling maternal love, and the enforced silences of social decorum. Unable to adapt easily to society's unspoken rules, he is driven to the point of insanity from which he must slowly and painfully return.
Told from several points of view and structured in a series of intersecting flashbacks and interior monologues, Death in Troy describes the difficult geography of male intimacy from multiple perspectives–adolescent friendship, homosexual desire, mother-son bonds, and the relationships between men and women. In a complex chorus of styles and voices, Karasu evokes states of exaltation, humiliation, passion, and despair to create a jarring disharmony of one boy's growth into manhood.
Praise for Death in Troy:
"[Karasu's] refusal to be bound by the formal constraints of "The Novel" is meant to reflect his characters' refusal to be bound by the moral constraints of society as they confront their sexualities in a country that, though secular in government, is still largely Muslim in culture." —East Bay Express
"Death in Troy is a teeming, elliptical examination of repressed homosexuality by popular Turkish writer Bilge Karasu. . . . Sin, madness and guilt are all balanced by flashes of beautiful imagery and poetic language." —Publishers Weekly
Bilge Karasu (1930-1995) was born in Istanbul. Often referred to as "the sage of Turkish literature," during his lifetime he published collections of stories, novels, and two books of essays. Karasu is an influential reference point in the progress of Turkish fiction writing. A perfectionist, a philosopher, and a master of literary arts, he left behind a body of work, which, although intricately woven and at times obscure, skillfully outlines a world unmatched in its crystal clear transparency. Karasu's novel, Night, was published in English translation by Louisiana State University Press in 1994 and was awarded the Pegasus Prize for Literature. Death In Troy is the second of his works translated in English and was published by City Lights in 2002. Karasu's The Garden of Departed Cats, was published by New Directions in 2004. In 2012, City Lights once again published another one of his novels A Long Day's Evening which was shortlisted for 2013 PEN Award for Translation.